FILE - In this May 21, 2020, file photo, a worker looks over an electronic slot machine as chairs have been removed from some machines to maintain social distancing between players at a closed Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Cards will be cut, dice will roll and jackpots jingle when casinos in Las Vegas and Nevada begin reopening at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, June 4. There will be big splashes, even amid ongoing unrest, and big hopes for recovery from an unprecedented and expensive closure prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Many more likely sought US jobless aid even as layoffs slow

June 04, 2020 - 6:19 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is set to issue its latest report Thursday on the layoffs that have left millions unemployed but have steadily slowed as many businesses have begun to reopen and to rehire some laid-off workers.

The pace of job cuts has been declining over the past two months after the coronavirus had struck hard in March, forced widespread business closures and sent the economy into a deep recession. The dwindling pace of jobless claims suggests that the devastation in the job market may have bottomed out. Still, by historical standards the number of weekly applications remains high.

On Friday, the government is expected to report that the economy lost 8 million jobs in May, on top of 20 million lost in April. Unemployment could near 20%.

The job cuts reflect an economy that was seized by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Most economists foresee unemployment remaining in double digits through the November elections and into 2021.

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